Subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are highly vulnerable to food insecurity given their low adaptive capacity against ecological and socio-economic shocks. Therefore, food security is one of their main challenges. Participatory action research across food value chains (FVCs) can help stabilize and enhance food security by developing upgrading strategies (UPS) that enhance specific aspects of crop production, post-harvest processing, marketing, income generation, and consumption. However, prior to their widespread adoption or upscaling, UPS need holistic understandings of their potential social, ecological, economic, and institutional challenges and opportunities in target areas. This article reports the application of the “ScalA-FS” tool, which assessed the potential success of selected UPS using assessment criteria developed by agricultural scientists and local farmers in a participatory process in Tanzania. This work is embedded in a larger participatory research project conducted in semi-arid and sub-humid ecological settings of the Dodoma and Morogoro regions of Tanzania. Results from the assessment of the potential impact of the UPS differed strongly between the UPS and the social, economic and environmental assessment criteria, but only slightly between semi-arid and sub-humid regions. The positive impacts of food-securing UPS centre on productivity and income generation. Rain water harvesting, fertilizer micro-dosing, optimized weeding, and promotion of kitchen gardens were expected to have the highest impacts after implementation. The ScalA-FS ex-ante assessments provide a knowledge base about potential impacts, as well as the potential bottlenecks to address during the implementation of UPS.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Adkins, E., Tyler, E., Wang, J., Siriri, D., & Modi, V. (2010). Field testing and survey evaluation of household biomass cookstoves in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Energy for Sustainable Development, 14, 172–185.
Agol, D., Latawiec, A. E., & Strassburg, B. B. N. (2014). Evaluating impacts of development and conservation projects using sustainability indicators: opportunities and challenges. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 48, 1–9.
Bagayoko, M., Maman, N., Palé, S., Sirifi, S., Taonda, S. J. B., Traore, S., & Mason, S. C. (2011). Microdose and N and P fertilizer application rates for pearl millet in West Africa. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 6, 1141–1150.
Bwalya, M., & Friedrich, T. (2002). Conservation agriculture in development: the case of Africa. Rome: FAO.
Carletto, C., Zezza, A., & Banerjee, R. (2013). Towards better measurement of household food security: harmonizing indicators and the role of household surveys. Global Food Security, 2(1), 30–40.
Chambers, R. (1994). Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): analysis of experience. World Development, 22, 1253–1268.
Cosyns, H., Damme, P. V., & Wulf, R. D. (2013). Who views what? Impact assessment through the eyes of farmers, development organization staff and researchers. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 20(4), 287–301.
Coulter, J., & Onumah, G. (2002). The role of warehouse receipt systems in enhanced commodity marketing and rural livelihoods in Africa. Food Policy, 27, 319–337.
Dar, W. D., & Gowda, C. L. L. (2013). Declining agricultural productivity and global food security. Journal of Crop Improvement, 27, 242–254.
Erenstein, O. (2003). Smallholder conservation farming in the tropics and sub-tropics: a guide to the development and dissemination of mulching with crop residues and cover crops. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 100(1), 17–37.
Erkossa, T., Haileslassie, A., & Macalister, C. (2014). Enhancing farming system water productivity through alternative land use and water management in vertisol areas of Ethiopian Blue Nile basin (Abay). Agricultural Water Management, 132, 120–128.
FAO (2012). The state of food and agriculture: investing in agriculture for a better future. Rome: FAO.
FAO, IFAD & WFP (2013). The state of food insecurity in the world 2013. The multiple dimensions of food security. Rome: FAO http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3434e/i3434e.pdf.
Foley, J. A., Ramankutty, N., Brauman, K. A., Cassidy, E. S., Gerber, J. S., Johnston, M., et al. (2011). A solution for a cultivated planet. Nature, 478, 337–342.
Galhena, D., Freed, R., & Maredia, K. M. (2013). Home gardens: a promising approach to enhance household food security and wellbeing. Agriculture and Food Security, 2(1), 8.
Giordano, M., & Clayton, T. (2012). Investing in Agricultural Water Management to Benefit Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania: AgWater Solutions Project Country Synthesis Report. IWMI.
Gómez, M. I., Barrett, C. B., Buck, L. E., De Groote, H., Ferris, S., & Gao, H. O. (2011). Research principles for developing country food value chains. Science, 332, 1154–1155.
Graef, F., Sieber, S., Mutabazi, K. D., Asch, F., Biesalski, H. K., Bitegeko, J., et al. (2014). Framework for participatory food security research in rural food value chains. Global Food Security, 3, 8–15.
Graef, F., Schneider, I., Fasse, A., Germer, J. U., Gevorgyan, E., Haule, F., et al. (2015). Assessment of upgrading strategies to improve regional food security in Tanzania: natural resource management and crop production. Outlook on Agriculture, 44(2), 159–167.
Grimble, R., & Chan, M. K. (1995). Stakeholder analysis for natural resource management in developing countries. Some practical guidelines for making management more participatory and effective. Natural Resources Forum, 19, 113–124.
Hayelom, B. T. (2014). Advanced research on Striga control: a review. African Journal of Plant Science, 8(11), 492–506.
Hazell, P., Poulton, C., Wiggins, S., & Dorward, A. (2010). The future of small farms: trajectories and policy priorities. World Development, 38(10), 1349–1361.
IFAD (2008). Empowering farmers in Tanzania through the warehouse receipt system. Rome: International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Ikelle, I. I., & Ivoms, O. S. P. (2014). Determination of the heating ability of coal and corn cob. IOSR Journal of Applied Chemistry (IOSR JAC), 7(2), 77–82.
Kaburire, L., Graef, F., Mutabazi, K., Makoko, B., & Swai, E. (2015). Multistakeholder Platforms for Sustainable Upgrading Agri-food Value Chains in Rural Tanzania: Creating a Space for Empowerment and Effective Engagement. Plant2030 status seminar, Berlin, Germany 4th–6th March 2015.
Kadigi, I. L., Muhiche, L., Kadigi, R. M. J., Makindara, J., Laswai, G., & Kashaigili, J. J. (2013). E- Ng ’ Ombe: a mobile phone ICT to tackle the pitfall of information asymmetry in the value chain of indigenous beef cattle in Mwanza region, Tanzania. Journal of Agriculture Economics and Rural Development, 1(1), 1–7.
Kangalawe, R. Y. M., & Lyimo, J. G. (2013). Climate change, adaptive strategies and rural livelihoods in semiarid Tanzania. Natural Resources, 4, 266–278.
Kimaro, A. A., Timmer, V. R., Chamshama, S. O. A., Mugasha, A. G., & Kimaro, D. A. (2007). Nutrient use efficiency and biomass production of tree species for rotational woodlot systems in semi-arid Morogoro, Tanzania. Agroforestry Systems, 71, 175–184.
Kimenye, L., & Bombom, A. (2009). Best-bet research outputs for enhancing agricultural productivity in eastern and Central Africa: abstracts. Entebbe: ASARECA.
König, H. J., Sghaier, M., Schuler, J., Tonneau, J. P., Abdeladhim, M., Ounalli, N., Imbernon, J., Helming, K., Morris, J., & Wiggering, H. (2012). Participatory impact assessment of soil and water conservation scenarios in Oum Zessar watershed, Tunisia. Environmental Management, 50, 153–165.
König, H. J., Uthes, S., Schuler, J., Zhen, L., Purushothaman, S., et al. (2013). Regional impact assessment of land use scenarios in developing countries using the FoPIA approach: findings from five case studies. Journal of Environmental Management, 127, 56–64.
Kshirsagar, M. P., & Kalamkar, V. R. (2014). A comprehensive review on biomass cookstoves and a systematic approach for modern cookstove design. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 30, 580–603.
Lalith, A., Rao, P. & Bhagavatula, S. (2014). Report on Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Impact of Research Investment in Stay-Green Post-Rainy-Season Sorghum. ICRISAT Working Paper Series (51).
Leuenberger, H., & Wohlgemuth, N. (2006). Biofuels and energy security in Africa. Vienna: UNIDO.
Liwenga, E. (2003). Food insecurity and coping strategies in semiarid areas: the case of Mvumi in Central Tanzania. Stockholm: Stockholm University.
López-Ridaura, S., Van Keulen, H., Van Ittersum, M. K., & Leffelaar, P. A. (2005). Multiscale methodological framework to derive criteria and indicators for sustainability evaluation of peasant natural resource management systems. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 7(1), 51–69.
Lotze-Campen, H., Popp, A., Beringer, T., Müller, C., Bondeau, A., Rost, S., & Lucht, W. (2010). Scenarios of global bioenergy production: the trade-offs between agricultural expansion, intensification and trade. Ecological Modelling, 221, 2188–2196.
Mahoo, H. F., Kahimba, F. C., Mutabazi, K. D., Tumbo, S. D., et al. (2012). Adoption and up scaling of water harvesting technologies in Tanzania. Chapter 6. In W. Christley & J. Gowing (Eds.), Water harvesting technologies in SSA: state of the art. Routledge: Earthscan.
Matumo, N. G., Maina, K. E., & Njoroge, N. N. (2012). The impact of front office Sacco activity on Sacco performance in Kenya; a case study of Meru south and Maara district in Tharaka Nithi County in Kenya. Global Advanced Research Journal of Management and Business Studies, 2(5), 285–290.
Mejia, D. (2003). MAIZE: Post-harvest operations. INPhO-Post-harvest Compendium. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). AGST. Rome, Italy.
Mlozi, M. R. S., Kakengi, A. V. M., Minga, U. M., Mtambo, A. M., & Olsen, J. E. (2003). Marketing of free-range local chickens in Morogoro and Kilosa urban markets, Tanzania. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 15, 2.
Mnenwa, R., & Maliti, E. (2010). A comparative analysis of poverty incidence in farming systems of Tanzania. Special paper 10/4. Dar-es-Salaam: REPOA.
Morris, J., Tassone, V., Groot, R., Camilleri, M., & Moncada, S. (2011). A framework for participatory impact assessment: Involving stakeholders in European policy making, a case study of land use change in Malta. Ecology and Society, 16 (1).
Müller, C., Cramer, W., Hare, W. L., & Lotze-Campen, H. (2011). Climate change risks for African agriculture. PNAS, 108, 4313–4315.
Mutabazi, K. D., Sieber, S., Maeda, C., & Tscherning, K. (2015). Assessing the determinants of poverty and vulnerability of smallholder farmers in a changing climate: the case of Morogoro region in Tanzania. Regional Environmental Change, 15(7), 1243–1258.
Mwinuka, L., Mutabazi, K. D., Graef, F., Maeda, C., Makoko, B. & Swai, E. (2015a). Agri-food Value Chains Upgrading Strategies Choices: A Participatory Smallholder Farmer Centred Approach. Plant2030 Status Seminar, Berlin, Germany 4th–6th March 2015.
Mwinuka, L., Schneider, I., Maeda, C., Mutabazi, K. D., Makindara, J., Graef, F., Sieber, S., Swai, E., Mbwana, H., & Swamila, M. (2015b). Comparing stakeholder views for mutual acceptable food value chain upgrading strategies in Tanzania. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 10(12), 1376–1385.
Ndah, H. T., Schuler, J., Uthes, S., Zander, P., Triomphe, B., Mkomwa, S., & Corbeels, M. (2015). Adoption potential for conservation agriculture in Africa: a newly developed assessment approach (QAToCA) applied in Kenya and Tanzania. Land Degradation & Development, 26, 133–141.
Nedumaran, S., Beleke Shiferaw, M. C. S., Bantilan, K. P., & Suhas, P. W. (2014). Bioeconomic modeling of farm household decisions for ex-ante impact assessment of integrated watershed development programs in semi-arid India. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 16, 257–286.
Raghavan, G. S. V., Rennie, T. J., Sunjka, P. S., Orsat, V., Phaphuangwittayakul, W., & Terdtoon, P. (2005). Overview of new techniques for drying biological materials with emphasis on energy aspects. Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 22(2), 195–201.
Riisgaard, L., Bolwig, S., Matose, F., Ponte, S., du Toit, A., & Halberg, N. (2008). A strategic framework and toolbox for action research with small producers in value chains. Copenhagen: DIIS.
Riisgaard, L., Bolwig, S., Ponte, S., du Toit, A., Halberg, N., & Matose, F. (2010). Integrating poverty and environmental concerns into value-chain analysis: a strategic framework and practical guide. Development Policy Review, 28, 195–216.
RLDC, Rural Livelihood Development Company (2008). Sunflower Sector-Market Development Strategy. Dodoma, Tanzania.
Rohitha Prasantha, B. D., Hafeel, R. F., Wimalasiri, K. M. S., & Pathirana, U. P. D. (2014). End-use quality characteristics of hermetically stored paddy. Journal of Stored Products Research, 59, 158–166.
Roy, S. K., Fuchs, G. J., Mahmud, Z., Ara, G., & Islam, S. (2005). Intensive nutrition education with or without supplementary feeding improves the nutritional status of moderately-malnourished children in Bangladesh. Journal of health. Population and Nutrition., 23(4), 320–330.
Sanchez, P. A. (2002). Soil fertility and hunger in Africa. Science, 295, 2019–2020.
Schindler, J., Graef, F., & König, H. (2015). A critical examination of sustainability impact assessment methods of farming interventions in developing countries: a review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 35(3), 1043–1057.
Schindler, J., Graef, F., König, H., Mutabazi, K., Mchau, D., & Kaburire, L. (2016). Developing community based food security criteria in rural Tanzania. Food Security, published online.
Schneider, I. (2014). Potential and feasibility for implementing upgrading strategies to improve rural poor food value chains - An ex-ante expert assessment for two Tanzanian focus regions - Masters Thesis. Humboldt University: Germany. p 158.
Shemdoe, R. S. (2011). Tracking effective indigenous adaptation strategies on impacts of climate variability on food security and health of subsistence farmers in Tanzania. ATPSNet. http://www.atpsnet.org/Files/wps51.pdf
Sieber, S., Jha, S., Shereef, A.-B. T., Bringe, F., Crewett, W., Uckert, G., Polreich, S., Ndah, T. H., Graef, F., & Mueller, K. (2015). Integrated assessment of sustainable agricultural practices to enhance climate resilience in Morogoro, Tanzania. Regional Environmental Change, 15(7), 1281–1292.
Uckert, G. et al. (2016). ScalA-FS: Expert-based ex-ante assessments of implementation requirements and on potential institutional impacts of upgrading strategies improving food security in rural Tanzania. Food Security, published online.
USAID (2008). Preliminary rural livelihood zoning: Tanzania. A special report by the famine early warning system network (FEWS NET). Dar es Salaam: USAID.
Van Rooyen, J., & Sigwele, H. (1998). Towards regional food security in southern Africa: a (new) policy framework for the agricultural sector. Food Policy, 23, 491–504.
von Braun, J. (2007). The world food situation. New driving forces and required actions. Washington: IFPRI.
Warner, M., Kahan, D., & Lehel, S. (2008). Market-oriented agricultural infrastructure: appraisal of public-private partnerships. Rome: FAO.
WCED (1987). Our common future: report of the 1987 world commission on environment and development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
WFP (2013). Comprehensive food security and vulnerability analysis. Tanzania 2012. Rome: WFP.
Ziervogel, G., & Ericksen, P. J. (2010). Adapting to climate change to sustain food security. WIREs Climate Change, 1, 525–540.
This publication is a product of the Trans-SEC (www.trans-sec.org) project and Food Security Africa (FSA). The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded the Trans-SEC project, with co-finance from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and may not under any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the BMBF and BMZ. The Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) financed the FSA project. Thanks to P. Ngwenya for revising the English of this article and to all Trans-SEC colleagues for their input into the assessment.
About this article
Cite this article
Graef, F., Uckert, G., Schindler, J. et al. Expert-based ex-ante assessments of potential social, ecological, and economic impacts of upgrading strategies for improving food security in rural Tanzania using the ScalA-FS approach. Food Sec. 9, 1255–1270 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-016-0639-x
- Upgrading strategies
- Ex-ante impact assessment
- Food security
- Food value chains